Why is it that that the weeks with lots and lots of things to discuss are weeks where I have some other deadline driven project (order form, ONOMATOPOEIA, whatever), but the week's I have time to write there's not a lot I actually want to say?
Still, I've been horrible the last few weeks, and while I did a lot of writing for the next Savage Symposium, I don't think you'll see that for another week or three? So let's me dive into what I have to say here...
PUNISHERMAX #13: This book seriously lost its momentum when it went on that hiatus (seriously, we lost like 1/3 of our sales here at Comix Experience), but I have to say that this current "Frank in jail" story is pretty terrific. Ultimately I care little about Frank in jail, because I've seen it so many times, but I thought the rapid intercutting between in-jail, and returned-from-vietnam was pretty astonishing well done. VERY GOOD.
One editorial note, however: Story page 11, panel 2, speech balloon. the word you want there is "grisly", not "grizzly". How that slipped past AT LEAST three sets of creative eyes (writer, letterer, editor) I couldn't possibly tell you. "Editors" don't really edit, do they?
FLASH #12: If you want to know what happened in FLASHPOINT #1, you sort of need to read this... though by the same token you really sort of don't NEED to, because it kind of doesn't matter, and it's all kind of chatty nonsense anyway. (Though I sorta liked what happened with "Hot Pursuit")
This is also the final issue of this version of FLASH -- the solicited #13 is apparently NOT coming out, and I gotta say, looking back over this "volume", man this series has been a creative failure. I know Graeme liked the art, but I still really don't even know why Barry was back, etc. FLASH: THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE (the Bart allen series just before this) was as strong creatively.. and everyone hated that book.
Also, F:FMA #13 (the last issue of that series) sold in 76,860 copies back in 6/07. FLASH #9 (the most recent one that we have numbers posted for) sold... 55,980 copies. Hrm.
FLASHPOINT #1: Now having said that.... I really really liked this. It might be like the thing about the THOR film -- my expectations were so low, that it couldn't help but exceed them... but I don't think it's quite that either. In fact, after I read the FCBD bit, I opined to Matt, "Wow, that didn't whet my taste, and, it actually made me not want to see what happens next", so when I picked this up and found out the FCBD stuff was just the FIRST SIX PAGES OF #1 I got extremely leery.
Thankfully, the rest of the issue picked right up, maybe as soon as the next page when we find out the Flash isn't even in this comic book series, which makes that cover pretty weird, really.
Anyway, I was pretty happily amused with all of the world-building here -- probably not amused enough to actually want to read any of the individual mini-series, but that whole rooftop sequence was extremely crisp and strong. The last page twist was also amusing, but not as jaw dropping or game changing as some people have said. It was also deeply undercut by the three pages of badly placed ads.
I have a lot more to say... but well I think this is part of the next Savage Symposium, so I'll keep it to myself right now. What I will say, however, is that given the end of the book, most of that initial narration doesn't actually make any sense whatsoever, it being stuff the narrator *can't* know.
I might be premature here, but I did like this, and I think I'm going to give it a VERY GOOD. I sure hope they can pull of the ending though -- if it turns into another BRIGHTEST DAY fiasco, I'll be extremely sad.
Right, so who wants to place early bets on who/what will Nate Gray this?
NEW MUTANTS #25: Speaking of Nate, NM gets a "new direction" which made me laugh -- "cleaning up old X-Men business". Man, there's a premis that could last you another 20 years or more! Abnett & Lanning take over the scripting, and it works as well as you'd expect it to, though the art bored me to tears. I also really liked the Ilyana scenes, and hope that she has a chance to stay in this new remit. Solidly OK.
X-MEN LEGACY #246: The other bit of the post "Age of X" storyline, and this one seems a little more ragged to me -- while NM gets a clear new path, these sort of seems like more of the same to me, except people's memories are jumbled. It isn't just that the AOA stuff adds something new to the characters (though you certainly can argue that), but the problem is that it does so in such a way that you need a thousand word preface to explain it before you can actually begin to deal with it. Many impacted characters will have it "mindwiped" away according to this issue, but those that don't... I really don't see anyone other than Carey making any hay from this? Especially with a major character like Cyclops? I don't think I can do better than EH here.
BATMAN INC #6: I just loved this issue. Have I said that I hope Chris Burnham stays on this book for a good long while? I don't know, that cover just made me giddy with joy, and the notion that Bruce indulges in internet sock-puppetry made me howl with glee. But the best parts are how many times Bruce smiles. VERY GOOD.
And that's it for me this week -- what looks good to YOU?